Seventeen years ago, I left Wall Street with one goal in mind—to change 100 million lives by motivating people to get out of their comfort zone and embrace the Spartan lifestyle. The past 17 years have been a giant uphill battle and I never anticipated how much you would embrace our mission and make it your own. Together we are celebrating 17 years of making a difference, 17 years of incredibly hard work, sleepless nights, formidable obstacles, and countless burpees. It’s been worth it.
Your numbers in 2017 were unprecedented. Spartans participated at more than 200 races in 30 countries. You confronted and overcame new obstacles, including The Twister, The Bender, Olympus, and the Yokohama Tire Flip. More than 3 million of you listened to 52 new Spartan Up! podcasts, and to feed your appetite for content we launched Spartan Life, a digital magazine highlighting the Spartan lifestyle.
But there is more to the Spartan community:
- To date, 500+ Spartans have traveled to far corners of the world to participate in the 60-hour Agoge, including one at our spiritual home in Pittsfield, Vermont; one in Japan, at the footsteps of the reclusive Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei.
- Spartans redefined the word epic at the first Spartan Ultra World Championship. 24 hours of nonstop racing in the dark, brutally cold mountains of Iceland.
- Spartans competed in the first-ever Global Championship Series, with races in the United States, France, Spain, and Malaysia; and Asia-Pacific Championship series, with races in Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Australia.
- The Spartan community of 5.5 million Spartans answered the call with our most well-attended Spartan World Championship event ever—one that included the first-ever team race, with Team USA edging the Czech Republic and Canada with over 30 countries attending.
We started a small fire but all of you poured 100 gallons of gasoline on it and have been relentless at convincing others to join our community.
Spartan was forged from grit around our kitchen table after long morning hikes of rock carries up mountains. It cuts deep, redefining how we train, eat, and think. It’s not a lean-back experience; it’s deep, meaningful and active, requiring you push harder. It asks you to sacrifice, to give, to be a good steward of the world.
We also ask that of ourselves. We are Spartans. We live the brand. I mean the entire organization, including our sponsors. As such, we push each other to be better—more accountable to you and the rest of the Spartan community—in the same way we push you to be the best version of yourself.
We couldn’t have gotten this far without you. Your support and advocacy has moved mountains. Your feedback and criticism make us better daily. You inspire us to push harder and go farther.
So on we go into 2018. We won’t stop now. The world needs Spartan more than ever. There will be no shortcuts, but plenty of treacherous terrain. It’ll be worth it, I promise.
Let’s keep going. Let’s keep pushing. Let’s change the world together.
Joe De Sena
Push harder, go farther in 2018. Let us crush your excuses. #noexcuses